Atlantic City experiences a decline of visitor trips since 2006
The number of people visiting the Atlantic City resort town in the US state of New Jersey has fallen for the eighth consecutive year.
According to the Pressofatlanticcity.com website, there were 26.7 million visitor trips to Atlantic City in 2013, a drop of 2% on the 27.2 million trips to the resort in the previous year.
Research from the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey showed that visitor figures for the gambling resort peaked at almost 35 million in 2005 but have declined ever since.
Israel Posner, executive director of the Levenson Institute, said: “There are still plenty of visitors coming here. They are spending somewhat less in the casinos, but are spending more on other amenities when they come.”
Posner said that the ‘visitor trips’ terminology used by the Levenson Institute reflects overall visitation to Atlantic City, not the number of individual tourists.
The tourism market is made up of core repeat visitors of between four and five million.
“There’s no way to know for sure how many unique visitors there are,” Posner said.
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Casinos won $2.9 billion (€2.1 billion) from customers in 2013, a drop of 6% on the previous year and the seventh consecutive year of a fall in gambling revenue.
The majority of visitor trips were made by those already living in New Jersey, while car and bus proved to be the most popular forms of travel to Atlantic City.
However, the number of travelers arriving by casino bus, air and rail fell in 2013.
Posner cited casino competition from other states and the lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy as the reasons for the drop in air travel.
Atlantic City International Airport carried 1.1 million passengers on scheduled flights and charters in 2013, a drop of 18% on the previous year/
Posner said this is significant as air travel represents the greatest potential in the city’s overnight market.
“Arrivals via air represent a very different value to Atlantic City than an arrival via the road or other modes of travel,” Posner said. “Air arrivals are much more likely to stay longer and spend more money.”
Passengers on casino buses fell 18% to 2.1 million on 2013, while rail travel also dropped by 5%.